Proportional voting deserves a test-drive


Re: “Put vote reform to referendum,” editorial, Sept. 30.

I agree that a referendum be held on electoral reform, but not before we fully understand what we are voting on. We need to try a system of proportional representation, and give it a chance, before we endorse it.

Referendums can be dangerous if the electorate does not understand the issue. A recent CBC program surveyed people on the street asking them if they could name any forms of proportional representation. Very few could, and some didn’t even know what our present system is.

An all-party federal committee studying electoral reform is travelling the country seeking input from ordinary citizens. The electoral reform committee met throughout the summer and received information from experts around the world. Committee members are well-informed and are trying to reach a decision on the best voting procedure for our country.

Electoral reform is extremely complicated and, providing we can have a referendum at a later date, I am willing to trust the committee to decide on a system of proportional representation suitable for Canada. It makes sense to try out a form of proportional representation and then hold a referendum after we have test-driven it for the next two elections.

After all, we wouldn’t buy a new car before we’ve test-driven it.

Shelagh Levey


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